Starring: Himesh Reshamiyya, Honey Singh, Zoya Afroz, Sonali Raut, Anant Mahadevan
Directed by Anant Mahadevan
Here was a film I was looking forward to, hoping it would be a joyous celebration of Bollywood’s kitschy, peripheral, B-grade cinema. Unfortunately, it didn’t prove to be as much of a fun ride. Set in the Bombay of 1968, it claims to have been inspired from real-life incidents. However, more than that, it’s classic Agatha Christie stuff—with a dead body and a closed group of suspects—that happens to be set in Bollywood. So the body is of the sexy heroine, Zara, who falls to her death at an awards function. It is quite wacky to start with: heroines wearing bad pancake for makeup, at times literally crumbling away on their faces. Irrfan Khan’s voiceover introduces the characters. As though the viewers wouldn’t have been able to make out the names he was uttering, they are also flashed on screen like placards. Then you have a character like director Subha Prasad, on the search for a sex symbol, saying lines like Na dance, na expression, na pose; kewal expose. And you have Himesh Bhai as the son-of-the-soil hero Ravi Kumar who lords over every aspect of filmmaking: Main jo bol deta hoon wahi script ban jaati hai. He has style, but no expression. Himesh does justice to the role with his delightful impassivity, slo-mo walks and stylish glares. Though set in late ’60s, the film tilts towards the ’70s. Or else, why would it talk of the Angry Young Man who hit screens in 1973 and of parallel cinema that gained ground in Hindi filmdom in the ’70s?